Editor's note: Summitview's six-part Christmas series, "As the Father Has Sent: Lessons on Mission from Christmas," begins Sunday, November 18. Pastor Mitch Majeski provides us with a preview of the upcoming series.
“Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” (John 20:21–22)
Afraid of a culture hostile to their beliefs, the disciples hid behind a locked door. Most of them were despondent. Their Messiah had just suffered and died. Their dreams for establishing his kingdom on earth were crushed.
Through those locked doors, Jesus entered and spoke.
His words, as always, were carefully chosen. They remain a profound statement of God’s heart for followers of Jesus. Jesus did not say, “It’s me and I have defeated death.” That was obvious. He did not say, “As I have conquered death, so I will conquer the world.” He simply said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
“Peace be with you.”
There is reason to be at peace. Death has lost its sting. What was the final separation between God and man has been removed. In fact, for those who trust in Christ, death is a doorway to gain full access to God. Therefore, even in death, Christians cannot lose. In fact, in death we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. The hardest things we will face in this life are temporary. Peace be with you.
“As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
As they are bolstered with that confidence, Jesus sends his disciples into action. How and to whom? Jesus gives the answer. The Father’s sending of Jesus is the model for Jesus’ sending of his disciples.
So as we celebrate Advent this year, our messages will focus on the Father’s sending of Jesus into the world. We will be looking for cues for our mission as his followers.
Incidentally, this series has been planned for some time, but it has turned out to be especially timely for Christians who are faced with transitioning their identity as the “moral majority” into the “missional minority.” Join us in praying that the Holy Spirit will use these messages to give us all a peaceful sense of our mission together.